Saturday, April 25, 2020

Lockdown day airlift makes Mohali pilot a coronavirus hero

Mohali: At 6am on March 24, when India went into lockdown, IndiGo's senior airline pilot and local resident captain Mukhtar Singh carried out a most complex airlift operation to get the stranded crew and passengers home before the flights closed at midnight.

Reached out on the eve of World Pilots' Day and asked about that task, the Airbus 320 aviator said: "Worried about the legal obligations first, I decided to take the lead once I thought of my stranded team.“ It started with a tense call from his wife, Damandeep Kaur, that Punjab was under curfew. Being a senior Punjab bureaucrat, she was precise and quick to pass on the facts. Then began the huge legwork and long hours of coordination with Chandigarh International Airport assistant manager Ravinder Singh Sidhu, whose concern was to run as many flights as possible before the time was over.

The captain operated 12 flights from Chandigarh that day, to Delhi, Patna, Srinagar, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, and Hyderabad, airlifting 1,123 passengers, 47 crew, and 83 staff (engineers and cargo loaders needed for essential airport operations). It was a delicate but meticulous operation of permissions, coordination, and safety checks, besides assembling the crew, engineers, commercial and ground staff, and loaders during curfew.

Mukhtar Singh, who has several thousand hours of flying experience and a 14-year career in civil aviation, is also a founder of social service group Enlightened Citizens.
25/04/20 Times of India
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment